By Shivali Dhiman Last Updated:
Known for their grandeur and elegance, Indian weddings are simply stunning. While lavishness and exuberance are a few things that are common among all the weddings across the country, there are a lot of cultural differences among every region’s celebration in this land of diversity.
And, here we give you a few glimpses of beautiful wedding celebrations from various cultures, regions, religions and communities of India.
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The wedding ceremonies celebrated in the 'Paradise on Earth' are quite simple yet so charming. Full of various rituals and traditions, one of the most beautiful parts of a Kashmiri wedding is the bride's striking attire, which apart from the rest of her dress, also includes a kalpush, a multi-layered skull cap.
Fun, excitement, joy, laughter, lots of energy, and what not! Well, these are some of the words that define a Punjabi wedding. Be it the outfits, venue, food or anything else, everything related to a Punjabi wedding is no less than the term 'king-size'. Not to miss, the beautiful things like kalire, chooda, etc., which make a Punjabi bride look absolutely stunning.
Gujarati weddings are full of fun because of the interesting rituals that are a part of these celebrations. One such fun and exciting ritual in Gujarati weddings is that of welcoming the groom. Known as Ponkvu or Ponkhana, the groom's mother-in-law performs an aarti to welcome him, and then, she playfully tries to pull his nose as a part of the ritual. Interesting, isn't it?
Be it the beautiful bride's hands and feet adorned with alta (a bright red liquid colour), the holy sound of ooli made by women while welcoming the groom or anything else, Bengali weddings are full of distinct features that make them a truly magical affair. And, how can we miss the beautiful sight when the bride hides her face behind the betel leaves!
Oriya weddings are usually not so extravagant, but are extremely graceful. One interesting fact about the Oriya weddings is that the Brahmin weddings in this part of India take place during the day time. On the other hand, weddings of all other Oriya castes are performed in the evening or night. Another interesting thing about an Oriya wedding is that the groom's mother does not take part in the wedding ceremony.
The beautiful Tamil weddings reflect the simplicity and down to earth nature of the Tamilians. Being very particular about all the wedding traditions and rituals, Tamilians perform each of them carefully and in the right manner.
Telugu weddings bear resemblance with the Tamil ones in several aspects. One thing that distinguishes a Telugu wedding from all others in the country is they focus on spirituality and not on the religion alone. Also, they give utmost respect to women, and their functions and rituals are considered to be complete only when women participate in them.
Coorg weddings are simple yet so unique from the rest of the marriage celebrations in India. What sets a Coorg wedding apart from the others is the absence of a Hindu priest, who usually solemnises Hindu weddings in all other communities. But in a Coorg wedding, the prayers are offered to the ancestors and the entire ceremony is conducted under the guidance of the elders of the family.
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Out of all the different regional weddings in India, Maharashtrian weddings are probably the most simple yet the elegant ones. They are full of simple and vibrant rituals and most of the Maharashtrian weddings are conducted during the daytime.
Known as Nikah, a Muslim wedding takes place in presence of the Maulvi (Muslim priest) and the family members of the couple. The bride and the groom sit separately and the Maulvi recites select verses from the Quran (Islamic sacred book), and asks the bride for her consent to marry the groom. After her acceptance, same question is asked to the groom. The mutual consent of the couple is known as Ijab-e-Qubul, which is followed by signing of the Nikahnama (marriage contract) by the couple.
A Sikh marriage ceremony is known as Anand Karaj, and comprises of a lot of beautiful rituals and functions. Sikh weddings are conducted in the morning and the couple takes the pheras in a Gurdwara (a Sikh place of worship) in front of the Guru Granth Sahib (sacred scripture of the Sikh religion).
The Christian weddings in India are like a beautiful amagamation of the Indian as well as western cultures. Known for their subtlety and elegance, the beautiful elements of Christian wedding, like the bride’s white wedding gown, sophisticated decor at the church, the pretty bridesmaids and the adorable flower girls, make these celebrations a totally ravishing affair.
The wedding celebrations of the people from the region of Marwar, Rajasthan, is known as a Marwari wedding. These weddings are extravagant and the celebrations are usually extended over a period of days. The innumerable rituals, traditions and other events make a Marwari wedding look no less than a big festival.
The Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh majorly comprises of the Buddhists. And, a Buddhist wedding in Ladakh is quite unusual and different from any other Indian marriage celebration. In this culture, there is no need of a priest to solemnise the wedding. Instead, the couple simply needs to take the decision to spend their lives together and get the approval of their respective families. After this, a simple ceremony, called Bangston, is conducted in which the near and dear ones of the couple join them and adorn them with the Kathak (a sacred scarf). This scarf symbolises that the guests are the witness to the couple's marriage.
Rajputs are considered to have originated from the princely families of Rajasthan. And going by their royal background, their wedding celebrations are absolutely imperial. Rajput weddings are loaded with various rituals, ceremonies and rich events, all of which make them a treat to watch.
Baniya is a business community in India. And, their lavish wedding ceremonies exhibit the influentialness of this community. Most of the rituals of a Baniya wedding are similar to the Hindu weddings in North India.
As explained by the photographer of this beautiful wedding, the Syrian Malabar Christians are the descendants of the natives of the Jewish diaspora in Kerala, who became Christians in the Malabar Coast in the earliest days of advent of Christianity in India. The Syrian Christian wedding is conducted by a bishop, and is a very colourful event. Unlike a typical Christian bride, a Syrian Christian bride wears an off-white saree, and her pallu acts as her veil.
Assamese weddings are known as Biya in the local language. The simple and pristine ceremonies of an Assamese wedding make it look all the more beautiful. And one of the most important, or say indispensable part of an Assamese wedding is Biya Naam, which is a traditional song.
A Parsi wedding is celebrated by the people following Zoroastrianism, and is known as lagan. While their celebrations are different than that of the Hindu marriages, they too are spread over a couple of days like most other Indian weddings.
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Well, aren’t these photographs of wedding celebrations from all over India simply amazing? Just leave your thoughts in the comments section below to tell us about your favourite one. Also let us know if we have missed out on any, and feel free to share the photographs with us as well!